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Thursday night crash claims two Concordia Parish people’s lives

Louisiana State Troopers are investigating a Thursday night crash that claimed the lives of two people on U.S. 84 in Catahoula Parish just west of Jonesville.

State troopers said the crash occurred at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday when an eastbound 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Melvin Washington, 52, of Ferriday crossed the centerline and struck head on a westbound 2016 Jeep Wrangler, driven by Heather R. Rein, 29, of Vidalia.

“Washington was pronounced dead on the scene,” states a press release from Louisiana State Police. “There were two adult passengers in the Chevrolet at the time of the crash. They were not restrained, received serious to moderate injuries, and were transported to a local hospital for treatment.”

Rein was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead, the press release states.

“Washington and Rein were not wearing a seat belt,” officials said. “There was a restrained juvenile passenger, in the Jeep, at the time of the crash. The juvenile sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a hospital in Baton Rouge for treatment.”

Toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis, authorities said, adding the crash remains under investigation.

“Louisiana State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind/inform motorists that properly wearing your seat belt is one of the most important decisions that a motorist can make,” the press release states. “While not all crashes are survivable, proper use of seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may also reduce the extent of injury. Always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained can often mean the difference between life and death. In 2020, Troop E Troopers have investigated 34 fatal crashes resulting in 41 fatalities.”